Saturday, December 15, 2012

Interview with 'Chosen' Author Barbara Ellen Brink

Bonjour, joli et magnifique lecteurs!

It is I! You know who I am right? No? Oh yeah. We have 5 bloggers now. I must make grand introductions at the beginning of every post (yessssss *fist pump*) so you know who is speaking to you. It's Hannah!:D

Because we have 5 bloggers now, we are working on a rotation schedule so things don't get all muddled up and messy. If I understand correctly (I am an easily confused person, so if I got this wrong, please don't stone me), the rotation is as follows: Martha, Bobbi, Nitza, me, then Cat. Memorize that order if you want to  know who'll be posting on what day:)

Alright, enough of that. Time's a wastin'! I am here to do my very first author interview. Yay! *applause* I received a copy of Barbara Ellen Brink's book 'Chosen,' (basically about ninja assassin/death machine/vampire slayer/Buffy-type character) and I'll be reviewing it later today. But first! An interview with this lovely woman. -->

1) Tell us something about yourself, Barbara.

     I am a full-time writer, wife, cook, housekeeper, dog-walker, and laundry fairy. I grew up on the West coast but have lived most of my adult life in the great northern state of Minnesota. My husband and I take our motorcycles on road trips when it warms up enough to avoid frostbite. We have two adult kids. My daughter is the graphic artist who drew and designed the covers for the Amish Bloodsucker trilogy. We also have two mutts who keep me company when I write.

2) What got you interested in writing?

     My love of books started at a very young age. I used to beg my mom to let me buy those little paperbacks from school once a month when the teacher handed out an order form for the Arrow book club. I think they were about 50¢ each. What a deal, right? I never really liked school much but I lived for the times when a teacher would ask us to write a story about anything we wanted. That I could do.

3) What was your first completed piece? How old were you when you wrote it?

    I've written many short stories over the years, but the first one I actually felt confident enough to enter into a contest was called, Reliving Love. I entered it in the Pacific Northwest Writers' Assoc. adult short story contest and won 2nd place. I think I was 39. Shortly after that I completed my first novel.

(<--le cute doggy and author's novels) 

4) Are there any writers you look up to?

     Certainly, there are lots of writers I think are amazing. Diana Gabaldon, Patricia Cornwell, Lisa T. Bergren, Sally John, Sibella Giorello, Steven James, Nicholas Sparks, and Iris Johansen are a few authors I've read multiple books from, so I suppose you could say they're favorites.  

5) Considering the similarities between Chosen and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, does that mean you are a big fan of the show? Was it the main inspiration for Chosen?

     I've never actually watched the entire Buffy series. I think I stopped after about the first three seasons. I did love the show when it first started and the kids were younger and a little more innocent. The humor and interaction between best friends, sarcastic put-downs of the undead, and fight scenes interspersed between teenage angst with relationships at school and home, was awesome. Although it's been years since I've watched an episode, I'm sure a lot of my inspiration came from Buffy. I wanted to write my characters with that same sense of innocence starting out. In spite of Jael's fighting abilities, she was raised in a protected and sheltered environment, so I think the whole good versus evil is even more obvious. 

6) What is your usual writing process? Some authors have certain places or schedules to write. What's yours?

(le office + a plethora of books-->)     

     When I'm engrossed in finishing a novel, I tend to work full days, but if I'm still at the "floundering for inspiration stage" or the research stage, I am easily distracted. Laundry, unwashed dishes, or my dogs sad faces begging for a walk, have been known to take my attention away from the task at hand. I try to write in the morning or early afternoon hours when no one else is around. With the house to myself, I am usually more focused on my characters and story. 

7) What are you doing when you aren't writing?

     When I'm not writing I like to go to the movies, read books (of course), ride my Ninja, take the dogs hiking, do lunch with friends, and spend time with family.

8) Are there any books that have made a great impact on your life or career?

     I couldn't point at just one book. Books in general and my love of reading has certainly impacted my decision to write. I was a very introverted child and reading was my escape into other worlds where I could do anything or be anyone I wanted to be.

9) Which character in Chosen would you say is your favorite?

     In Chosen I was just getting to know all of my characters. I feel the closest connection with Jael, but I enjoyed writing about Shadow. His name sort of says it all. Jael doesn't know whether to trust him or not. He's the proverbial badboy persona with a heart of gold. 

10) What do you like most about being an author? Least?

(<--le chic motorcycle gear)

     I like being able to work at home, write what I want, on my own schedule, and still be able to run off and meet a friend or something if the opportunity comes up. Promoting myself and my books doesn't come naturally to me. I'm more of a behind the scenes writer. So, while I do book signings and promotion when I can, and appreciate the opportunities, I guess you could say I'm just more comfortable living in the heads of my characters. 

11) Is there any advice you can give to all the aspiring writers out there?

     Don't give up. Keep writing. It takes years to master a craft. It's something you continue to work on your entire life. Rejection letters are par for the course and make creative wallpaper. (<--Awesome! Best writing advice ever!:D)

12) How long, on average, does it take for you to complete a book?

     The Amish Bloodsuckers have taken me about three months each. Longer books can take up to six months depending on how many edits they go through. 

13) What do you do to relax? Are there any movies or TV shows you like to spend the evening watching?

     I started watching Revenge last season and now I'm addicted. I also like Person of Interest and Grimm. For laughs, you can't beat The Middle

14) Are there any books/stories of yours coming up that we can look forward to?

     The second Amish Bloodsucker's, Shunned, is already available. The third and last Amish Bloodsucker's book, Reckoning, will be available for Christmas!

(le author and daughter-->)

15) Anything else you'd like to say to your readers?

     Thanks so much for having me today. The Amish Bloodsucker's Trilogy has been so much fun to write and share. If you've already read Chosen, I hope you'll pick up the rest of the series. Jael has a big job ahead of her when she takes on the Minnesota Loon Lake Amish Community's infiltration of vampires. The Bishop is in for a Reckoning. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Awesome! Thanks for doing the interview, Barbara! It was great having you here. It was really, really, really fun interviewing you! So sad I couldn't have done it in person:( But now, I need to go find me some more authors to interview! (<--hmmm....prediction of the future? Does Hannah have an author interview lined up for her next post? We shall see....)

Anywho, I need to work on putting the finishing touches on my review of Barbara's book Chosen! Coming later today, I pinky swear it!:D

-Hannah

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